My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bears and Christmas sewing

I spent some quality time with the bears over the weekend. Not the grizzly kind but I thought it time to try to catch up on the Mod Bear QAL by Sew Fresh Quilts. 
First up - my completed pile of bear paw blocks - 28 of these for the lap quilt size —
You can just see the check-style fabric in the top block; I left this fabric to sew up
last as I wondered if it had too much navy in it....all the rest are blacks.
I made one block and decided it was OK so made another three.
Then it was sashing strips time —
Next was sewing on the sashing and, yaay, lay out time!
I did make one change after sewing on the sashing as it is shown below. I unpicked a little and sewed the horizontal sashing pieces together, then joined the vertically sashed blocks together; more like joining in rows rather than blocks. (Apologies if that makes absolutely no sense; some of you may know what I mean!). I found that I could get a neater join with nesting my seams that way.

Then on to Scary Stuff, mitreing these borders —
I had one un-pick to do where things didn't quite match up but overall not as
painful as I thought it would be.
(Lorna has an excellent tutorial for mitreing borders *here*.)
Press and look at it time —
So far so good, isn't that bear looking great?
And a closer shot —
This looks like a complete flimsy but there is another border to has pieced footprints which are a bit fun. Although it is tempting to stop here I think I'd like to grow it some more :-)

For now though I've tucked my bear away so I could concentrate on some Christmas sewing.
I haven't made one of these braid style runners before but thought one would make a nice gift. I found this good tutorial *here* on the Destashification blog. (This blog had two versions of the tutorial, the extra wordy one with lots of detailed explanations AND a bare facts only version..quite a good idea!) Rather than sew the strips to a foundation piece of fabric as instructed, I made it quilt-as-I-go by sewing the strips to batting and backing fabric. That meant once it was pieced there was no more quilting to do!
(I made mine slightly smaller too, with the starting centre square 6 ½" rather than 7½").
Here I had a whoops- didn't make my backing pieces quite big enough moment- saved by the Iron-on Batting Tape.
An enjoyable project, will definitely like to make another of these one day and play with a bit of colour graduating.
I must get a better photo - none of these show the nice gold sparkliness in some of the fabrics. You'll have to take my word for it!
So that's one tick off my list. I've a few other Christmas projects planned but nothing too major :-) It's nearly December (15 minutes to go just at the moment!) - where does time fly?
See you next time,

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Stitching on a Friday....and a Saturday....

My goal for this weekend was to complete a little stitchery project... four of us are making a cushion as a leaving gift for a colleague....
It is a Rivendale design by Sally Giblin; her designs always seem to have sweet sentiments and make ideal gifts.
By the end of Friday Night Sew In, I'd got this far —
Using Cottage Garden Thread 1009 Cranberry
And yaay, Sunday morning, I've completed it —
It does seem like slow progress but there is one interruption after another these days, never enough stitching time! Special thanks to Wendy of Sugarlane designs for hosting us FNSI crafters...visit her blog *here* to see who else joined in.
Now I can pack it up and pass it on to the next stitcher :-)

It's been a while since I've mentioned my progress on my Omigosh (by Sue Garman) quilt...grabbing scraps and prepping them for leader-ender sewing or to stitch in a spare moment. I tipped my little tub of nine and four patches onto the ironing board this morning and was pleasantly surprised with the pile. I've got just as many partial patches too, so that's a good feeling. Lots of scrap munching...anything smaller than 1" square gets thrown out but everything else can be used here!
The upper right block is what these will become
A side view cos it looks even busier :-)
It's been an awful week in New Zealand with the massive earthquake on all our minds. *Here* is an indepth online news item if you are interested in finding out more about it.

Now it's time for me to focus on the finishing touches for my Chooky's Secret Santa Gift...the sleigh leaves this week...very exciting!!!
Thank you for the comments on my last post...apologies to those I haven't yet replied to; I'm hoping to get to those emails soon ♥
Happy stitching,  

Monday, November 14, 2016

Auckland's Festival of Quilts

Recently the Auckland Quilt Guild hosted their annual show, The Festival Of Quilts.This is a show I look forward to every year; I think it's our biggest New Zealand quilt show. I'm a little slow to blog about this - I'm not sure where the time has flown to in the last week!

Before I could enjoy the quilts though there was a lot of work to be done.
The shop I work at, The Country Yard, had a booth there again this year...the last few (or more) weeks have been really busy as we made samples, packed kits, and tried to get ready for the show.
After an afternoon spent setting up - with quilts up, quilts down, quilts moved sideways then back again, cushion up, cushion down, cushion sideways and back again, we were finally set up and were really happy with how our booth looked.
We had a good view of some of the quilts from our booth —
And also the challenge quilts —
Here is the stadium from above —
I worked in the booth on Friday and a little of Saturday; then it was time for me to be a spectator...
There was a wide variety of quilts; this was the Best Of Show —
No Entry by Norma Slabbert
This quilt had a mixture of hand quilting and machine quilting.
Typical me though, went for some thing a little more traditional for my favourite —
Red Radiant by Colleen Burr
Amazing piping finshed it off beautifully.

As usual for me my photos mostly consist of a bit of quilting, a block design, or a colour combination. Here is a very small sampling of some of the quilts that were there —

My Favourite Fabrics by Ruth Reynolds

Love Entwined by Jennry Henry
Flower Power by Chris Behersing

Catch Me If You Can by Betty McLean

Southern Stars by Mary Hawke
Amazing teeny tiny stars!
Aim for the Moon by Marie Harrison

Buona Notte by Sue Flego

Of course there were a plenty more quilts shown and there have been a good variety of photos on some other local blogs;  visit Julie, Wendy, Ali, Leeann if you want to see more. 

Lately I've been showing sneak peeks of an applique project I've been working on....I had enough of it completed to be able to share on our booth. Evandale is a BOM I am making the sample for, for next year. I think it's going to be lovely!
Another weekend has been and gone... I finally had a chance to turn my machine on and do a little secret Christmas sewing...then got back into my Mod Bear Paw's box and did some sorting... I have pieces cut and ready to sew. I'm still behind but making slow progress :-)
At the moment I am on a quick trip 'down the line' to visit some family...among other things, I have delivered the baby gifts I finished in my last post, as well as these two little beanies YD knitted for her new second cousin...yes, she is having a short break from dog jerseys - aren't these cute?
These are both Ravelry patterns she found.

We awoke this morning to hear the distressing news that there had been earthquakes further south, and nasty ones at that. Where we live in the north we are well out of the shaking zone but I did appreciate emails from bloggy friends 'just checking'. As with us all, my heart goes out to everyone who's been affected by the quakes...there's a lot of rebuilding of lives to do.